Evaluation of effectiveness with which Mattel implemented safety policies with subcontractors
Mattel, a world-leading toymaker with factories in different countries including China and Mexico was found culpable for violating international safety laws by manufacturing and distributing toys laced with a high concentration of lead. Large stock of Mattel’s popular toys such as hot wheels and Barbie dolls were sold in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world. As the leading manufacturer, Mattel had an intuitive opportunity to manage its safety processes and ensure that the products released to the market are impeccable. Although the company had running systems for internal quality and safety checks such as testing laboratory in Shenzhen China, it fails to perfect its processes as Jim Walter, the company’s vice president admitted that the company is not perfect, and processes have holes. The company failed to implement safety policies concerning the subcontractors
Evaluation of Mattel effectiveness concerning subcontractors
Mattel had different subcontractors supplying different products including paint and other materials. Different subcontractors like Dongguan Zhongxin Toner Powder Factory, Hong Li Da and others, supplied products to Mattel through official contractors of the company. Mattel did not have full control of the activities of the subcontractors making it difficult to regulate their activities. It can be argued that the problem with Mattel originated from an inability to implement proper safety measures about products received from the subcontractors. The products that the company received were not subjected to adequate safety processes before used in manufacturing. For instance, when Mattel’s certified supplier Dongxing New Energy Company realized that they had a limited supply of yellow pigment they decided to seek the intervention of obscure company completely disregarding possible breach of standards as set by Mattel. They sought suppliers from Dongguan Zhongxin, which had a poor reputation for provided fake documentation about the quality of their supplies
Mattel did not follow its guidelines concerning the testing and certification of products received from suppliers. Both Mattel and Dongxing Companies did not test the yellow pigment received from Dongguan Company, this showed that there was laxity and neglecting of laid procedures. Importantly, the company had a large number of suppliers who were regarded by the company has trustable as they had long term relationships. However, without the knowledge of Mattel Company, the suppliers used subcontractors who operated without supervision. This created loophole for shady companies to supply products laced with impurities such as lead. With improper vetting of suppliers to determine worthiness and reputation, many proxy companies supplied materials through Mattel’s known suppliers.
Mattel had many trained personnel tasked with the responsibility of training and supervising suppliers, and ensuring that all products received by the company meet acceptable standards and measures. Over 200 employees in China were tasked to perform this function; however, deployment of these employees was skewed as they were not stationed in manufacturing plants of the suppliers. This made it impossible to supervise suppliers hence giving chance for subcontractors to operate. Besides, Mattel failed to work closely with suppliers and supervise their activities. This provided a chance for Early Light Industrial Company, one of Mattel’s suppliers, to outsource paint from unauthorized Hong Li Da.
In conclusion, Mattel’s subcontractors contributed significantly to the crisis, which caused significant losses and recall of products worth millions. Mattel failed to supervise suppliers while not subjecting products from suppliers through adequate testing before using it in industrial processes.
Baron, David. Mattel Crisis Management or Management Crisis. Stanford Graduate Business School. 2008. 4th October, 2019. < https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/case-studies/mattel-crisis-management-or-management-crisis>
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